Let me start this letter by saying congratulations on the birth of your daughter! I’m sure you and your giant will be wonderful parents. Also, from a strictly scientific perspective, I can’t wait to see how tall your little blessing will grow up to be.
But if it’s not too much to ask: Can you hold off on extending your family for a few more years? Two babies at once is just chaos! Twice the diapers! Twice the drool! And, oy, the lack of sleep! Girl, do not do that to yourself!
Also, and obviously this is strictly secondary (I wasn’t even going to mention it), but I really, really need Juliette to be kicking ass and taking names again, not lying in bed in her jammies, hidden under the world’s largest comforter, causing Avery to roll his eyes Ricky Ricardo–style (Ay, Juliette!), and getting a grand total of five minutes of airtime.
You getting pregnant again would stand in the way of Juliette being her best self.
The best news? The ratings for Nashville aren’t all that hot, so you’re probably not going to have to wait more than a year or two to keep breeding!
Anyway, thanks for listening.
Oh well, if Juliette is simply too preggers to be part of the main story line, at least we had Rayna last night in full diva mode. When she stomps into that Edgehill Republic meeting in those stiletto booties and fur-trimmed coat, I literally gasped. She has more fierceness in one strand of her magnificent, golden hair than I have in my entire body.
But before we get to Queen Rayna, can we get the heavy stuff out of the way? Man, the Deacon cancer story line just got too real last night. His child doctor (and future love interest for Scarlett? Really, Nashville … really?) refuses to tell him how much time he has, so he goes home and types “life expectancy, liver cancer” into a search engine as we all shout, “Nooooooo!” Never, ever look up your symptoms! Anyway, the Google machine tells him he has six months to live without that liver transplant, so he starts getting his affairs in order, which is actually kind of a reasonable thing to do, under the circumstances. But Scarlett will have none of it, because she is too busy being a ... HAPPINESS BULLY!
OMG, had you guys ever heard that phrase before, because I had not and it’s going to come in handy from this day forward. It was Dr. Pretty Boy (Nick Jandl) who coined the phrase, telling Scarlett that her relentless positivity was not helping matters. Then he was all, “Ew, this latte sucks.” (Honestly? I’m not sure this guy’s a real doctor.)
Meanwhile, Deacon finally agrees to see Maddie, and the little inhale and forced smile he gives when he opens the door to greet her shattered my heart into a million pieces. (This cancer story line may be a total drag, but Charles Esten is flat-out killing it.) Maddie sings for him and he starts to cry, but it actually seems to be a turning point. Like, now he realizes that he needs to fight, not succumb. And then Scarlett comes home and they both apologize (him for being too down; her for being a big ol’ happiness bully) and they are disgustingly cute together — and I’m really not sure how much more of this story line I can take.
On to drunken heartbreak and reckless acting out: the more fun side of Nashville! But seriously, since when is Gunnar pining away for Kiley? He’s known that she cheated on him with his brother for quite some time, and it did happen ten years ago, so, at the risk of sounding insensitive, dude, get over it. Also, what’s up with that decade-old photo he has of him and Kiley and his brother? It’s a faded Polaroid and he has Kurt Cobain hair in it. Do the Nashville prop people realize that 1995 was not ten years ago?
So Luke comes over, ostensibly to do some song writing but mostly to get drunk. Then Will comes home (he’s moved back in with Gunnar now that he and Layla have split), and Luke decides that the three of them should have a boy’s night out and go “tail hunting.” Ew.
“But it’s not night,” Gunnar (drunkenly) protests.
“That is the great thing about Nashville,” Luke slurs. “It is always dark somewhere.” (Is that an actual Nashville variation on “It's five o’ clock somewhere”? Or is Luke just making up expressions at random to justify his binge-drinking?)
Off they go to da club, with Will acting as wingman. He brings four cheerleaders over and begins to introduce Luke to one and she says, “Oh, we know. Wheels up!” And Luke responds, “They’re about to be darlin’!” and I’m sorry we all had to witness that, each and every one of us.
Will is finding it increasingly difficult to play the hetero stud muffin, and he storms off. The next morning, Luke asks him where he went, and he admits that he just can’t do the carousing playboy thing anymore.
“I’ve always had my suspicions, but now you’ve confirmed it,” Luke says, as Gunnar and Will exchange a nervous look. “You’re sensitive.” Aww.
Then Luke admits that he’s also secretly sensitive. He’s still in love with Rayna (“Gonna be a while before I get over her, and that’s the God’s honest truth”), so he writes a sweet, sad song about her (sample lyric: “We might be worlds apart, but I can’t help my heart”) and then, oh lawd, he cries, too. So many sensi-bro man-tears on Nashville last night! Anyway, how Luke went from sleazy-guy-day-drinking-at-a-bar to guy-I-actually-feel-sorry-for during the course of one episode is beyond me.
Not much to say about the Avery/Sadie story line, except Avery was absolutely adorable in his Knight in Shining Armor mode. And honestly? When he took off his jacket and yelled, “Bring it!” to Sadie’s ex — it made me, um, feel things.
All right, back to the whole Teddy/Rayna/Jeff brouhaha.
Jeff can’t leave well enough alone and has to rub it in by sending a $40,000 diamond necklace to Maddie — care of Rayna at Highway 65, no less — with the note “Welcome to Edgehill. You’ll be the diamond of our label.” (A poet he is not.) This is when Rayna goes into Extreme Mama Bear mode, demanding answers all over town and trying to get the contract voided. “Tennessee law only requires one parent's signature to ratify a recording contract,” her lawyer informs her, which may be the most Tennessee sentence ever uttered.
When Rayna confronts Teddy, he briefly attempts the indignant route: “While you’ve been MIA on tour all wrapped up in your Luke drama, I’ve become the parent she can count on!” (Oh no, Teddy. You did not just try to blame Rayna for this.) But he can’t pull off the injured party routine in the face of Rayna’s righteous anger, so he eventually crawls back to her and comes clean, telling her all about the Layla cover-up and his accidental love affair with a hooker. (The secondhand embarrassment during that scene was strong.)
Finally, Rayna disrupts the board meeting at Edgehill, telling Mario Van Peebles about all Jeff’s dastardly, underhand behavior and out-of-control ways, and it is glorious. Of course, she gets the contract nulled but somehow she’s ever better than she thought she was because, later, Jeff skulks to Layla’s house, looking pathetic, and says he’s been fired. Ding dong, Jeff Fordham is dead. (The fact that Layla actually lets him in instead of slamming the door in his face is — sigh — perfectly in character for her.)
Then Rayna tells Teddy she wants full custody of the girls until he gets some help. For what? Being a sucker? Not sure there’s a 12-step program for that.